Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies {paleo}

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Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Gluten & grain-free almond shortbread jam cookies for Valentine’s Day!Scrumptious buttery almond cookies made “double thumbprint style” to create an indented heart-shape filled with homemade Raspberry-Strawberry Honey Jam made the easy way—refrigerator style. The buttery almond cookies have plenty of vanilla and just a touch of almond extract as well as a whisper of nutmeg to make these Valentine’s Day jam-filled cookies especially flavorful.

Guest Recipe for The Right Nutrition Plan

When Kellie Hill of TheRightNutritionPlan.com asked if I would contribute a guest recipe for the readers of her site, I knew right away which recipes I would begin testing.  Although I knew they would be paleo/primal in nature (the eating plans I personally follow), and therefore grain free, the thought occurred to me to make each recipe extraordinary for St. Valentine’s Day.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 1

Taking Center Stage: Almond Flour by Honeyville® Farms, kosher salt, baking soda, nutmeg, organic ghee or clarified butter, light agave nectar, pure vanilla extract and pure almond extract.

From the start, I selected three (3) recipes to work with. However, one recipe with chocolate got away from me as it was begging for a special liqueur to be added. (I swear, it was!) At that point, I decided to set aside that recipe and prepare it for The Big Lug for our Valentine’s Day celebration. That left me with two (2) recipes to focus on both of which were in the petite category for “little sweets”. The recipe that did not meet my tough standards in a test would have to be shelved until further testing could be worked into my schedule.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 2

As you can see, here I am using my small 4-cup prep food processor to prepare the cookie dough. My small prep food processor is ideal for this task versus my larger one.

1) In the first photo at top left, you will see that our measured dry ingredients have been added to the work bowl. 2) In the second photo at top right, you will see that I have just pulsed the processor enough to blend the dry ingredients. 3) In the third photo at bottom left, you will see that I had just added our wet ingredients. 4) In the fourth and final photo at bottom right, you will see that I had just processed all of our ingredients until smooth to create our yummy almond cookie dough. Easy peasy!

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 3

As you can see in the above photo, I am in the process of scooping and rolling the dough into 3/4-inch balls.

Keeping it Real: So, just what happened with the recipe that didn’t make the final cut? It was a total disaster! The recipe tasted great, but I had used a different pan to achieve a sweet appearance for Valentine’s Day. Even though it was a no-bake recipe, I really needed the nonstick version of the pan for best results. This is why recipes need to be tested at least 2 to 3 times to ensure replication by others in their own kitchens. The best part? I now have a recipe with testing well underway for a future post and I am thinking of featuring it for Easter. Meanwhile, I can assure you…I have already ordered my new nonstick pan!

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 4

As you can see above, all of the dough has been rolled into 3/4-inch balls and I have placed pairs of two, joining at the side, to create 12 cookies. At this point, it is a good idea to cover your remaining prepared balls of dough to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out.

The winning recipe as you would guess (duh, right?) was my recipe for Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies featured here today as well as at Kellie’s blog, here. These sweet heart-shaped cookies fit the bill perfectly for Valentine’s Day. These scrumptious paleo cookies had the right shape, size and color (with the pretty ruby-red jam filling) and they are easy to make with no rolling and cutting required. Since these tasty cookies are hand-molded, they do require a bit of time. So, be sure to set aside some time to prepare them. It took me a minute or two per cookie to shape.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 5

In the photo above, you can see that I just completed the molding and shaping process for our heart-shaped cookies. They look just like little heart tartlets!

Measuring, Molding & Baking Tips

MEASURING: When measuring almond flour without a kitchen scale, it is imperative that you “pack” the cup full. Each cup of almond flour should measure 112 grams. This is per the manufacturers of almond flour as well as per Dr. Jean Layton, author of Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies. The only way to reach the necessary weight of 112 grams of almond flour, when measuring by volume with a measuring cup, is to pack the cup. Now, there is “lightly packing” the cup, “packing” the cup or “firmly packing” the cup as a rule of thumb. I would say that simply “packing” the cup is ideal versus either lightly or firmly packing the cup because I conducted tests and weighed the flour after each volume measurement method. I hope this information will give you some guidelines to go by if you do not own a kitchen scale. However, I strongly encourage you to make the investment in purchasing a kitchen scale for future grain-free and/or gluten-free baking. It’s so much easier!

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 6

Wow! Now we’re really cookin’ with gas! As you can see in the above photo, I have just filled each “thumprint” heart-shaped cookie center with strained jam for our seedless version. Don’t they look cute?

MOLDING: As you make the “thumbprint” with your finger, the dough will have a tendency to crack. The dough is not dry as there is plenty of fat in the recipe, but the cookies are made with almond flour which makes molding the dough just slightly more challenging. With patience, it can be done. It is best to keep the remaining dough covered while you work to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out. Plastic food wrap works well for this. If the dough dries out on the surface, it makes molding the cookies more difficult as there will be an even more pronounced surface cracking to contend with.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 7

And, here they are fresh baked from the oven. As you can see, our jam-filled heart-shaped almond cookies, with seeds in the jam, look simply mahvelous! (Note: As you can see in the above photo, I have “doubled-up” my baking pans to provide an insulated baking surface.)

BAKING: When baking the cookies, you will need to watch them closely if you do not have an oven thermometer to calibrate your oven temperature. Cookies and pastries made with nut flours brown quickly and all too easily they can become over-browned. For this reason, whenever I bake delicate buttery cookies or cookies made with nut flours, I like to double-up on the baking sheets to create an insulated baking surface (or use my insulated baking sheets) and then line the pans with parchment paper. Nonstick Silpat® liners are helpful as well. If you do not have parchment paper or Silpat® liners, use an ungreased nonstick baking pan as there is no need to grease your pans for this recipe.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 8

In the above photo, you can see that our gorgeous fresh baked heart-shaped jam-filled Valentine cookies are cooling on a wire rack.

What makes our paleo Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies wicked good? First and foremost, our cookie recipe is paleo-friendly. But, what really sets our paleo cookie recipe apart is our own recipe for homemade paleo jam, Raspberry-Strawberry Honey Jam, for the filling as well as the fact that we use ghee in our almond cookie dough for a rich, buttery flavor while remaining dairy free. The ghee also provides for a good crunchy exterior as well as chewy center. Yum! Finally, these jam-filled “thumbprint” cookies are heart-shaped! Who on a paleo diet wouldn’t enjoy a heart-shaped butter almond cookie filled with homemade jam for Valentine’s Day? Exactly.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies Paleo 9These charming Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies are truly delicious and hit the sweet spot. They are buttery and crunchy on the outside while chewy in the center where the jam filling is. Nom! Upon storing in an airtight container, they become soft and chewy sort of like Fig Newtons. I love them both ways.

Have fun baking and know that your Valentine will love and appreciate you for taking the time to prepare homemade paleo heart-shaped cookies with jam filling for Valentine’s Day!

xo,

stacysig

 

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies by WickedGoodKitchen.com ~ Gluten & grain-free almond shortbread jam cookies for Valentine’s Day!

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies {Paleo}

Yield: Makes about 28 cookies.

Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies {Paleo}

Scrumptious buttery almond cookies made “double thumbprint style” to create an indented heart-shape filled with homemade Raspberry-Strawberry Honey Jam made the easy way—refrigerator style. The buttery almond cookies have plenty of vanilla and just a touch of almond extract as well as a whisper of nutmeg to make these Valentine’s Day jam-filled cookies especially flavorful.

Ingredients

  • For the Almond Cookies
  • 2 cups firmly packed (224 grams) blanched almond flour by Honeyville® Farms
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) organic ghee or clarified butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (84 grams) organic light agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • For the Jam Filling
  • Raspberry-Strawberry Honey Jam, recipe by Wicked Good Kitchen™
  • Or, favorite jam with no sugar added, such as Polaner® All Fruit®

Directions

Line two insulated baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Alternatively, place a half baking sheet atop another and line with parchment paper. Using insulated baking sheets will prevent these delicate cookies from overbrowning on the bottom as they bake.

In a food processor, blend almond flour, salt, soda and nutmeg by pulsing lightly. Add ghee, agave nectar and extracts. Pulse several times until mixture is fully incorporated. Gather dough into a ball or scrape into a small bowl.

Using a small spring-loaded cookie scoop, scoop level spoons of dough and shape into ¾-inch balls. To form each cookie, place 2 balls of dough joined at the side onto prepared baking sheets. Press finger into each ball to form a “thumbprint” indentation. Next, create a thumbprint into the center with finger and shape the bottom into a tapered point with fingers to form a heart-shape for each. With fingers, pinch top ridge all the way around to create crisp edges to hold in the jam. Repeat with remaining dough leaving 2 inches between each on baking sheet. Chill unbaked cookies in refrigerator until dough is firm, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, arrange rack to middle of oven and preheat oven to 325ºF. Once unbaked cookies are chilled, remove from refrigerator and fill each cookie center with 1 teaspoon jam—either with the seeds or strained for seedless.

Bake in preheated oven for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer cookies to wire racks using a thin metal cookie spatula to cool completely.

Recipe Notes

Measuring, Molding & Baking Tips

Measuring: When measuring almond flour without a kitchen scale, it is imperative that you “pack” the cup full. Each cup of almond flour should measure 112 grams. This is per the manufacturers of almond flour as well as per Dr. Jean Layton, author of Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies. The only way to reach the necessary weight of 112 grams of almond flour, when measuring by volume with a measuring cup, is to pack the cup. Now, there is "lightly packing" the cup, "packing" the cup or "firmly packing" the cup as a rule of thumb. I would say that simply "packing" the cup is ideal versus either lightly or firmly packing the cup because I conducted tests and weighed the flour after each volume measurement method. I hope this information will give you some guidelines to go by if you do not own a kitchen scale.

Molding: As you make the “thumbprint” with your finger, the dough will have a tendency to crack. The dough is not dry as there is plenty of fat in the recipe, but the cookies are made with almond flour which makes molding the dough just slightly more challenging. With patience, it can be done. It is best to keep the remaining dough covered while you work to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out. Plastic food wrap works well for this. If the dough dries out on the surface, it makes molding the cookies more difficult as there will be an even more pronounced surface cracking to contend with.

Baking: When baking the cookies, you will need to watch them closely if you do not have an oven thermometer to calibrate your oven temperature. Cookies and pastries made with nut flours brown quickly and all too easily they can become over-browned. For this reason, whenever I bake delicate buttery cookies or cookies made with nut flours, I like to double-up on the baking sheets to create an insulated baking surface (or use my insulated baking sheets) and then line the pans with parchment paper. Nonstick Silpat® liners are helpful as well. If you do not have parchment paper or Silpat® liners, use an ungreased nonstick baking pan as there is no need to grease your pans for this recipe.

Recipe Inspirations:

Butter Cookies, by Elana’s Pantry

Double Thumbprint Cookies, by Better Homes and Gardens

http://wickedgoodkitchen.com/almond-double-thumbprint-heart-cookies-paleo/

NOTE: Nothing to disclose. I just like working with the above brands of products! And, I highly recommend Dr. Jean Layton’s book, Gluten-Free Baking For Dummies. At the time of this writing, I am not an Amazon.com affiliate.

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.

Comments

  1. These are absolutely beautiful! I’m so glad to have found your site and can’t wait to explore more 🙂

  2. Now aren’t those precious! I thought of doing some Linzer cookies with a pre-made heart cutout; these are definitely much, much cuter!

    • Aww shucks, B…thank you! Almond Linzer Cookies are delish, but I love any kind of nut in a Linzer Cookie. It’s in my genes, LOL!

  3. Very clever! Love the idea of heart-shaped thumbprint cookies–will definitely try that sometime. Thanks for such a thorough and informative post.

    • Thank you for the compliments, Nancy! It is such high praise coming from a veteran baker and award-winning cookbook author. Much appreciated! xo

  4. These sound perfect in every way and beautifully shaped too!

    • Aww…thank you, Sylvie! By the way, fell in love with your whipped meringue shot on the wire whisk mixer attachment with the silky, billowy streaks and beautiful shadows. I need a print framed in my home office! Pinned it to my Beautiful Food Photography board at Pinterest. Love it. xo

  5. These are adorable! I love them and the fact they are paleo!

  6. Could you use coconut oil instead? I don’t tolerate any kind of dairy product!

    • Hi there, Danielle! To answer your question…yes, you certainly can substitute coconut oil in lieu of the ghee called for in this recipe. You could also use a small portion of butter flavored palm shortening (up to 1 tablespoon) if you want to add a little butter flavor. I just learned that I am highly allergic to dairy, too, and can no longer have ghee. So, I will be offering more dairy free baking recipes and offer more dairy free options. I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly and completely. Thanks for stopping by and happy cookie baking!

  7. Can you substitute honey for the agave nectar?

    • Hi there, Patty. Yes, you may substitute honey for the agave nectar. Just keep in mind that agave is slightly thinner than honey and adjust the consistency of the dough as you need to. Happy baking!

      • Thank you! I think I’ll use an eighth cup of honey and then adjust as needed. I want to make these tonight for my hubby. He’s following the scd diet and these will be perfect for him. Hope my hearts come out just as beautiful as yours. Can’t wait to get baking.

        • Thank you, Patty! My pleasure. I’m so glad you have found a recipe to prepare for your hubby for Valentine’s Day. The heart shapes take a bit of time to mold, so just be patient with yourself. Thank for stopping by and happy baking!

  8. I love heart shaped cookies. Those are adorable.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the baking sheets, I call for this whenever cookies are made with nut flours. (See our recipe for Paleo Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies where I explain this tip.) So, I thought to myself, why not place the cake pans directly onto the […]

  2. […] adapted these from a lovely recipe for Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies that I found after a Google search for “paleo thumbprint cookies”. The ratios of wet to […]

  3. […] ALMOND DOUBLE THUMBPRINT HEART COOKIES from Wicked Good Kitchen.   Another talented blogger has come up with these gems!  Not only are they gluten-free but they […]

  4. […] Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies {paleo} – Scrumptious buttery almond cookies made “double thumbprint style” to create an indented heart-shape filled with homemade Raspberry-Strawberry Honey Jam made …… […]

  5. […] Almond Double Thumbprint Heart Cookies (courtesy of Wicked Good Kitchen) […]

  6. […] Almond double thumbprint heart cookies {paleo} | Wicked Good Kitchen […]

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